Update: We can continue to Smile, as Kaelyn Alecto reports, “Thanks to many insanely amazing donations I have been able to keep my sim open! Come on by and pay a visit and have fun exploring :)” – so please go along and visit!
As I’ve mentioned in these pages a number of times, I tend to use the Photogenic Spots section of the Destination Guide as a reference when looking for places to visit in SL. One of the places listed there is It All Starts with a Smile, located on Onyx Isle, the Homestead region of Kaelyn Alecto and her SL partner, Maxxster. While I’d frequently made a mental note to visit the region in the past, I’d never quite managed it.
Then I heard by way of Mona Eberhardt and Ziki’s blog that the region may be vanishing around May 15th 2013. This is not because the tier is too high per se, but apparently because the region’s tier is partially underwritten by one of the third-party exchanges (TPEs) hit by the Lab’s recent changes to the SL Terms of Service and the decision to write to all such exchanges and request they cease trading / providing Linden Dollars.
If this is indeed the case, then it is a shame, because the region is beautifully put together with a keen eye for composition and photography – Maxxster is a photographer himself, and there is a Flickr group devoted to the region.
From the seaside town frontage of the arrival point, complete with carousel and Ferris wheel, you can walk down to a sun-kissed beach, sit on a fading wooden dock or follow a path around the island (or simply climb over the hills behind the shops!) to reach beautiful and restful meadows. There are beauty spots scattered across the island where you can sit and admire the view or snap away with the camera to your heart’s content. Romantics are also catered for, with places to dance, places to sit and cuddle and corners to snuggle in and hide from the world – there is even a cute little caravan with a blanket and pillows spread on the roof, hitched to a sporty little Mini!
In short, this is a place designed to bring a smile to your face – and keep it there; which makes its potential removal from Second Life all that more poignant. I don’t – as I hope the destination reviews in this blog demonstrate – run with the “sim deathwatch” crowd; while SL undoubtedly has its problems, there are still many fabulous places left to visit. Even so, when it comes to one which is as beautifully presented as It All Starts With a Smile, then its possible passing is to be lamented.
I only wish I’d visited sooner.
P.S. there is a donations piggy bank at the landing point, and as the saying goes, “Every little helps,” so if you do pop in to have a look around, a few L$ dropped into it would likely be appreciated and might even help keep the region going…